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    EU TO HELP PROTECT NATIONAL MINORITIES IN BALTIC STATES

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    MOSCOW, May 20 (RIA Novosti) - Russia expects the European Union to confirm in practice its obligations to help protect the rights of national minorities in the Baltic States, a source in the Kremlin told RIA Novosti on Thursday.

    According to the source, this is one of the issues that will be discussed at the Russia-EU summit on May 21 in Moscow.

    It was very important for Russia that the obligations to protect human rights and the rights of national minorities were formalized in the joint statement adopted in Luxembourg on April 27, the source pointed out.

    "Although the fulfillment of this point of the statement may be protracted because of the non-constructive position of the ruling circles in Latvia and Estonia who cannot forget the fears and complexes of the past, we expect the practical implementation of the adopted understandings," the source said.

    The statement does not name specific countries that should observe the rights of national minorities, but it is clear that Latvia and Estonia were the issue.

    The adoption of such a statement means that the EU admits the existence of the problem and that Brussels has a political obligation to fulfill in practice what it promised, the source said and added that the most important thing now was the practical realization of the obligation.

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